Monday, October 27, 2014

Bookmonkey x Penguin Horror Day 27: Mr. Sardonicus

So the only purchase I've made in preparation for this month was a $12 Blu-Ray of Mr. Sardonicus, the 1961 William Castle directed adaptation of Ray Russell's Sardonicus.

I had come across a picture of the makeup used for the title character as a child, but other than that unsettling image, I knew nothing about the film.

In terms of William Castle films, I enjoyed the 90s reboots made by Dark Castle of a number of Castle's original films (House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts, etc.), and knew the director was famous for stunts related to his films, like on site nurses, buzzers under seats, or in the case of Mr. Sardonicus, an alternate ending for the film depending on the audience of each screening demanding a merciful or unmerciful ending for the main character.

The movie itself is pretty great, it actually uses aspects, scenes and theme from a number of Russell's fiction as seen in Haunted Castles, the leads are great, and I was happy enough to see director William Castle himself, that his films may be the focus of another October in the next few years.

If you have the opportunity, the film is pretty great, and for me, who has seen a lot of horror but never this one, it was a great treat.

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